River - Eminem ft. Ed Sheeran




The Experience: All my sins need holy water... When you finally accept all your sins, how do you find forgiveness...


Music video: Eminem makes this song and video personal, interspersing the video itself with faux interviews of himself, the woman involved, and the other man, "What this song means to me is something that I felt I needed to get off my chest." The lyrics come to life with faces and anguish on both sides. It's a confession, as raw, vulgar and tragic as the events themselves.

The Meaning of River: Eminem (despairing frustration) and Ed Sheeran (sorrowful but hopeful repentance) are two different rivers: the two sounds and lyrics of a man drowning in evil of his own making. He's been a liar, a thief, a cheatHe wants, needs, yearns for redemption - all my sins need holy water. But he's not sure he can even bring himself to ask for - I don't want to admit to something if all it's gonna cause is pain. River doesn't rule out salvation: it ends with I'm sorry from Eminem, and so let the river run from Ed Sheeran. But it's focus is mainly on the darker river: the flow of sin - cheating, desertion, abortion - that drags so much hurt in its wake. Mixed in with it all: frustration with yourself, with your blindness and callousness,  and with your destructive stupidity - why do I do this hurt that I do?

Ask yourself: Which river is flowing through your life right now? How are you riding it?

Album: Revival (2017)

LYRICS:

[Ed Sheeran]
I've been a liar, been a thief
Been a lover, been a cheat
All my sins need holy water
Feel it washing over me
Oh, little one, I don't want to admit to something
If all it's gonna cause is pain
Truth and my lies right now are falling like the rain
So let the river run

[Eminem]
He's coming home with his neck scratched, to catch flack
Sweat jackets and dress slacks, mismatch
On his breath's Jack, he's a sex addict
And she just wants to exact revenge and get back
It's a chess match, she's on his back like a jet pack
She's kept track of all his Internet chats
And guess who just happens to be moving on to the next?
Actually, just sh-t on my last chick and she has what my ex lacks
'Cause she loves danger, psychopath
And you don't f-ck with no man's girl, even I know that
But she's devised some plan to stab him in the back
Knife in hand, says the relationship's hanging by a strand
So she's been on the web lately
Says maybe she'll be my Gwen Stacy, to spite her man
And I know she's using me to try to play him, I don't care
Hi Susanne, but I shoulda said “Bye Susanne”
After the first night, but tonight I am

[Ed Sheeran]
I've been a liar, been a thief
Been a lover, been a cheat
All my sins need holy water
Feel it washing over me
Oh, little one, I don't want to admit to something
If all it's gonna cause is pain
The truth and my lies now are falling like the rain
So let the river run

[Eminem]
One-night stand, turned into night staying
He was calling so might scram, now we hug tight and
He found out, now she feels deserted and used
'Cause he left, so what? He did it first to her too
Now how am I supposed to tell this girl that we're through?
It's hard to find the words, I'm aloof, nervous, ensued
Don’t want us to hurt, but what you deserve is the truth
Don't take it personal, I just can't say this in person to you
So I revert to the studio like hole in the wall diners
Don't have to be reserved in a booth
I just feel like the person who I'm turning into's
Irreversible, I preyed on you like it's church at the pew
And now that I got you I don't want you
Took advantage in my thirst to pursue
Why do I do this dirt that I do?
Get on my soapbox and preach, my sermon and speech
Detergent and bleach is burning the wound
'Cause now with her in the womb
We can't bring her in this world, shoulda knew
To use protection 'fore I bit into your forbidden fruit
F-ck!

[Ed Sheeran]
I've been a liar, been a thief
Been a lover, been a cheat
All my sins need holy water
Feel it washing over me
Oh, little one, I don't want to admit to something
If all it's gonna cause is pain
The truth and my lies now are falling like the rain
So let the river run

[Eminem (Ed Sheeran)]
My name's (ooh), my name's (ooh)
Denver (ooh), river run
Call me (ooh), call me (ooh)
River (ooh), we'll let the river run

[Eminem]
Always the bridesmaid, never “The bride, hey!”
F-ck can I say? If life was a highway
The seat was an enclave, I'd be swerving in five lanes
Speeds at a high rate, like I'm sliding on ice, maybe
That's why I may have came at you sideways
I can't keep my lies straight
What I made you terminate, my baby
This love triangle left us in a wreck, tangled
What else can I say? It was fun for a while
Bet I really woulda loved your smile
Didn't really wanna abort, but f-ck it
What's one more lie, to tell an unborn child?

[Ed Sheeran (Eminem)]
I've been a liar, been a thief
Been a lover, been a cheat
All my sins need holy water
Feel it washing over me
Oh, little one (I'm sorry)
I don't want to admit to something (I f-cked up)
If all it's gonna cause is pain
The truth and my lies now are falling like the rain
So let the river run


review by Benjamin O'Loughlin

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